Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Vultures - S/Tdotdotdot
artworkHome brew cassette from transplanted Pennsylvania surf band now living in the LA area. I don't have any info on these guys. The 1995 cassette was given to Chris Ashford at the now-defunct Ruckas Store in Santa Monica, and he passed it on to me. There's a killer surfish version of the theme from the South Bank Show (BBC) on this thing that's amazing! Check 'em out, if they are still around. Their sound is relatively edgie. All of this music is recorded in demo form, and would do well in a good studio. It's quite creative and adventurous.
Picks: I Fought The Surf, Hang Ten With The Devil, Uluwatu, Untitled, Ruckus, Lake Erie Is Burning, Motor Booty Beach, Pacific Ocean Park, Don Ho's Last Ride, El Porto, Flying Star, Longboard, Seaweed, Another Cadillac On State Street, Sand City, National Birdwatcher, Surfing On Ice, Station 20

Track by Track Review


I Fought The Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rhythm chunka chunka and a fine double picked lead line that uses a totally non-surf underpinning. This is quite an interesting composition, most unusual construction and quite effective. This is not an instro version of the classic made famous by Bobby Fuller. It's a high energy driven track with plenty of shred and minimal melody. The vibrato is cool, as is the attack. Pumped crunch.

Hang Ten With The Devil dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an unmelodic track, mostly a riff with drama and edge, and overbearing drums. Noodly and jam like.

Uluwatu dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surfin' down the Congo is as close to am image as I can get. It's somewhat garage rock, somewhat surfadelic, and definitely well played. The melody is not surf, but the dribbling double picking is, or maybe it's more fifties Bo Diddley-ish... very cool.

Untitled dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Suave rolling bass under a jazzy composition, some surf hints, some smoky bar atmosphere, and some garageland suave all lurk in this unusual tune.

Ruckus dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The "Walk, Don't Run" rhythm under a "Bat Man"ish sorta riff before a definitely Link Wray/Dick Dale jam sound... it's an odd combination that seems to find a niche where no one else has gone. Like a rockin' good double picked fifties B-side.

Lake Erie Is Burning dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Lake Erie Is Burning" is a slightly plodding number that oozes double picked surfability and thundering rhythm section power. It has both surf and Detroit darkness about it. Very mean and threatening.

Motor Booty Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the exquisite merger of surf and the dissonance of the South Bank Show theme. It is both edgie and mean, and also arts and croissants. There is no shortage of weird science manipulating the DNA of this track. It never exactly lands in any genre camp. Completely original idea.

Pacific Ocean Park dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a slow and silky number that floats on a fine melody and slightly distorted guitar. There's moodiness, and brooding, and then there's the break, where the street malae ensues.

Don Ho's Last Ride dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Few Don Hoisms reside within this shortboard shredder on a crisscross stormy wave. It's almost melodic, but speaks so clearly of fast cut backs and choppy water that it has little time to float.

El Porto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big chord power and double picked sections, and a riff without a real direction. It seems more to be a jam than a song. The dramatic midsection is the best part.

Flying Star dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow almost hokey beat under a shimmering lead guitar gushing with a throbbing melody that displays silly moves on small glassy faces. It's quite picturesque.

Longboard dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slightly dramatic, like a surfed up version of the Great Society's intro to "White Rabbit," throbbing with vibrato and pomp. It's surfadelic and menacing, like a storm brewing on the horizon, creating great gray swells. The "Miserlou" riffs at the end only hint of the roots of surf.

Seaweed dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Kelpadelic punkaroo edge and crunch. More a jammin' experiment than a song, with a changing beat and pace, and a sense of trying to stay together.

Another Cadillac On State Street dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A very slight hint of "Satisfaction" and a nasty guitar, and mostly a sound and feel. The melody is simple, but works well enough, keeping the interest up for the duration.

Sand City dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spanish guitar rushes, flamenco ethics, and watery twang. This is a solid tune, pretty unusual and very disjointed. It's edge and uniqueness provide demarcation from the pack.

National Birdwatcher dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"National Birdwatcher" is sorta rockin', sorta jammin' and sorta unmemorable. Different for the sake of difference, it seems to be non-compositional.

Surfing On Ice dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Delicate picking, moderately paced, until the double picked lead comes in and powers the track. The riff is pretty cool, both familiar and unique. The hooks work, the fluidity slithers, and the dynamics are well thought out.

Station 20 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tom Tom power, throbbing vibrato, and thundering glissandoes in a post-eighties surf format with the danger and gloom of the eighties but the sound of the emerging re-ignition of nineties surf. Not quite melodic, but satisfying.